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Gaze Leads Australia Into Semifinals, 65-62

September 28, 2000|Associated Press

Andrew Gaze is making his fifth Olympics his best.

Gaze scored 13 of Australia's last 15 points today to lead the host country into the semifinals of the men's basketball tournament with a 65-62 victory over Italy.

The 35-year-old guard is the second-leading scorer in Olympic history to Oscar Schmidt of Brazil. None of the 757 points have been any bigger than the ones down the stretch against Italy, as Australia's hopes for a gold medal stayed alive despite losing a 10-point lead midway through the second half.

"We still have a couple more to go but we're really where we want to be right now," said Gaze, who had 27 points on seven-for-10 shooting, including four-for-five from three-point range.

The last two of those three-pointers started his game-closing run. His three-point play when he scored on a flip shot down low brought Australia within 60-59 with 2:09 left. He made two free throws with 1:38 left to make it 62-61.

After Italy's Carlton Myers missed a jumper as the shot clock ran out, Australia got the ball to Mark Bradtke, who was fouled with 44 seconds to go. He made both free throws to give Australia a 63-62 lead. After another missed shot by Italy, Gaze added two free throws with 13 seconds to play.

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